Submissions should be sent via email to Susan Hodgett (email@example.com) and Thomas Ruys Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are happy to receive articles of various lengths, though our standard length of articles is roughly 8000 words. If your piece is unusually short or long, please check with the editors before submission.
Please ensure that you consider the following guidelines when preparing your manuscript.
To ensure blind peer review, please only list the title and abstract on the submitted manuscript file.
Research articles must have the main text prefaced by an abstract of no more than 250 words summarising the main arguments and conclusions of the article. This must have the heading ‘Abstract’ and be easily identified from the start of the main text.
Supplementary Files (optional)
Any supplementary/additional files that should link to the main publication must be listed, with a corresponding number, title and option description. Ideally the supplementary files are also cited in the main text.
e.g. Supplementary file 1: Appendix. Scientific data related to the experiments.
Note: additional files will not be typeset so they must be provided in their final form. They will be assigned a DOI and linked to from the publication.
If data, structured methods or code used in the research project have been made openly available, a statement should be added to inform the reader how/where to access these files. This should include the repository location and the DOI linking to it. Read our reproducibility guide for more information on best practice and maximising the impact of your open data.
If data used in the research project has not been made available, a statement confirming this should be added, along with reasoning why.
The journal's data policy is available on the Editorial Policies page.
Ethics and consent (if applicable)
Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Where applicable, studies must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee and the authors should include a statement within the article text detailing this approval, including the name of the ethics committee and reference number of the approval. The identity of the research subject(s) should be anonymised whenever possible. For research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardian) and added to this statement. If a study involving human subjects/tissue/data was exempt from requiring ethical approval, a confirmation statement from the relevant body should be included within the submission.
Experiments using animals must follow national standards of care. For further information, click here.
Any acknowledgements must be headed and in a separate paragraph, placed after the main text but before the reference list.
Funding Information (if applicable)
Should the research have received a funding grant then the grant provider and grant number should be detailed.
If any of the authors have any competing interests then these must be declared. A short paragraph should be placed before the references. Guidelines for competing interests can be found here. If there are no competing interests to declare then the following statement should be present: The author(s) has/have no competing interests to declare.
A sentence or a short paragraph detailing the roles that each author held to contribute to the authorship of the submission.
The author is responsible for obtaining all permissions required prior to submission of the manuscript. Permission and owner details should be mentioned for all third-party content included in the submission or used in the research.
If a method or tool is introduced in the study, including software, questionnaires, and scales, the license this is available under and any requirement for permission for use should be stated. If an existing method or tool is used in the research, it is the author's responsibility to check the license and obtain the necessary permissions. Statements confirming that permission was granted should be included in the Materials and Methods section.
Language & Text
For the submission title:
Capitalise all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and subordinate conjunctions (i.e. as, because, although). Use lowercase for all articles, coordinate conjunctions and prepositions.
● Slip-Sliding on a Yellow Brick Road: Stabilization Efforts in Afghanistan
Headings within the main text:
First level headings in the text should follow the same rule as the main title.
For lower-level subheadings, only capitalise first letter and proper nouns.
Headings should be under 75 characters.
Submissions must be made in English. Authors are welcome to use American or British spellings as long as they are used consistently throughout the whole of the submission.
● Colour (UK) vs. Color (US)
When referring to proper nouns and normal institutional titles, the official, original spelling must be used.
● World Health Organization, not World Health Organisation
American or English grammar rules may be used as long as they are used consistently and match the spelling format (see above). For instance, you may use a serial comma or not.
● red, white, and blue OR red, white and blue
The font used should be commonly available and in an easily readable size. This may be changed during the typesetting process.
Underlined text should be avoided whenever possible.
Bold or italicised text to emphasise a point are permitted, although should be restricted to minimal occurrences to maximise their efficiency.
Use bullet points to denote a list without hierarchy or order of value. If the list indicates a specific sequence then a numbered list must be used.
Lists should be used sparingly to maximise their impact.
Use single quotation marks except for quotes within another speech, in which case double quotation marks are used.
Quotations that are longer than three lines in length must be in an indented paragraph separate from the main text.
The standard, non-italicised font must be used for all quotes.
It must be clear from the text and/or citation where the quote is sourced. If quoting from material that is under copyright then permission will need to be obtained from the copyright holder.
Acronyms & Abbreviations
With abbreviations, the crucial goal is to ensure that the reader – particularly one who may not be fully familiar with the topic or context being addressed – is able to follow along. Spell out almost all acronyms on first use, indicating the acronym in parentheses immediately thereafter. Use the acronym for all subsequent references.
● Research completed by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows …
A number of abbreviations are so common that they do not require the full text on the first instance. Examples of these can be found here.
Abbreviations should usually be in capital letters without full stops.
● USA, not U.S.A
Common examples from Latin origin do not follow this rule and should be lower case and can include full stops.
● e.g., i.e., etc.
Data & Symbols
Symbols are permitted within the main text and datasets as long as they are commonly in use or have explanatory definition on their first usage.
Hyphenation, em and en dashes
There is no set rule on the use of hyphenation between words, as long as they are consistently used.
Em dashes should be used sparingly. If they are present, they should denote emphasis, change of thought or interruption to the main sentence and can replace comas, parentheses, colons or semicolons.
● The president’s niece—daughter of his younger brother—caused a media scandal when…
En dashes can be used to replace ‘to’ when indicating a range. No space should surround the dash.
● 10-25 years
● pp. 10-65
For numbers zero to nine please spell the whole words. Please use figures for numbers 10 or higher.
We are happy for authors to use either words or figures to represent large whole figures (i.e. one million or 1,000,000) as long as the usage is consistent throughout the text.
If the sentence includes a series of numbers then figures must be used in each instance.
● Artefacts were found at depths of 5, 9, and 29 cm.
If the number appears as part of a dataset, in conjunction with a symbol or as part of a table then the figure must be used.
● This study confirmed that 5% of…
If a sentence starts with a number it must be spelt, or the sentence should be re-written so that it no longer starts with the number.
● Fifteen examples were found to exist…
● The result showed that 15 examples existed…
Do not use a comma for a decimal place.
● 2.43 NOT 2,43
Numbers that are less than zero must have ‘0’ precede the decimal point.
● 0.24 NOT .24
Units of measurement
Symbols following a figure to denote a unit of measurement must be taken from the latest SI brochure. Seehttp://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/si_brochure_8_en.pdf for the full brochure.
Formulae must be proofed carefully by the author. Editors will not edit formulae. If special software has been used to create formulae, the way it is laid out is the way they will appear in the publication.
Figures & Tables
Figures, including graphs and diagrams, must be professionally and clearly presented. If a figure is not easy to understand or does not appear to be of a suitable quality, the editor may ask to re-render or omit it.
All figures must be cited within the main text, in consecutive order using Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).
Each figure must have an accompanying descriptive main title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the figure image. A short additional figure legend is optional to offer a further description.
● Figure 1: 1685 map of London.
● Figure 1: 1685 map of London. Note the addition of St Paul’s Cathedral, absent from earlier maps.
Figure titles and legends should be placed within the text document, either after the paragraph of their first citation, or as a list after the references.
The source of the image should be included, along with any relevant copyright information and a statement of authorisation (if needed).
● Figure 1: Firemen try to free workers buried under piles of concrete and metal girders. Photo: Claude-Michel Masson. Reproduced with permission of the photographer.
If your figure file includes text then please present the font as Ariel, Helvetica, or Verdana. This will mean that it matches the typeset text.
NOTE: All figures must be uploaded separately as supplementary files during the submission process, if possible in colour and at a resolution of at least 300dpi. Each file should not be more than 20MB. Standard formats accepted are: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS. For line drawings, please provide the original vector file (e.g. .ai, or .eps).
Tables must be created using a word processor's table function, not tabbed text.
Tables should be included in the manuscript. The final layout will place the tables as close to their first citation as possible.
All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, etc.).
Each table must have an accompanying descriptive title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the table. A short additional table legend is optional to offer a further description of the table. The table title and legend should be placed underneath the table.
Tables should not include:
● Rotated text
● Colour to denote meaning (it will not display the same on all devices)
● Vertical or diagonal lines
● Multiple parts (e.g. ‘Table 1a’ and ‘Table 1b’). These should either be merged into one table, or separated into ‘Table 1’ and ‘Table 2’.
NOTE: If there are more columns than can fit on a single page, then the table will be placed horizontally on the page. If it still can't fit horizontally on a page, the table will be broken into two.
Because of the interdisciplinary intentions of this journal, we are not imposing a house reference style. As long as authors consistently use an internationally recognised reference format (eg Harvard, Chicago, MLA, MHRA) their choice of formatting is up to them. We are equally happy with in-text citations or footnotes. However, please avoid discursive footnotes.
All citations must be listed at the end of the text file, in alphabetical order of authors’ surnames/in numerical order [delete as appropriate].
All reading materials should be included in ‘References’ – works which have not been cited within the main text, but which the author wishes to share with the reader, must be cited as additional information in endnotes explaining the relevance of the work. This will ensure that all works within the reference list are cited within the text.
NOTE: If multiple works by the same author are being listed, please re-type the author’s name out for each entry, rather than using a long dash.
NOTE: DOIs should be included for all reference entries, where possible.